每日英語跟讀 Ep.K168: Lithuania declares emergency over undocumented migrants from Belarus
Lithuania declared an emergency after Belarus sent a flood of illegal migrants over the two countries’ border in protest at European Union sanctions against President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
The tensions are part of a standoff between Brussels and Minsk that escalated in May when the former Soviet republic forced a Ryanair jet to land there so the authorities could arrest an opposition journalist on board. The two sides were already at odds over Lukashenko’s victory in last year’s presidential election, which was widely deemed fraudulent and which triggered huge protests against his 27-year rule.
EU penalties over the vote — and the crackdown on demonstrators that ensued — were criticized as toothless, but the plane incident sparked measures targeting Belarus’ aviation sector and, more recently, its key industries. The tensions have left Lukashenko reliant on Russia’s Vladimir Putin for support.
Lukashenko threatened in a speech in May to send drugs and illegal migrants into the EU unchecked, with Lithuania a prime target as it has become a temporary home for the president’s political rivals. The number of undocumented immigrants — mostly from Iraq — crossing from Belarus jumped to 822 through July 2 this year from 81 in the whole of 2020.
A still image obtained by Reuters shows a flight path of Ryanair FR4978 on May 23 on its way from Athens, Greece to Lithuanian capital Vilnius and diverted to Minsk, Belarus when flying over the country. Citing a “bomb threat,” Belarusian flight controllers ordered the jet to land in Minsk, where authorities arrested Roman Protasevich, a dissident journalist who was on board. Sharing a 679-kilometer border, the Lithuania-Belarus tensions reflect the struggles between EU and Russia — the great powers behind them.
路透社取得之五月二十三日瑞安航空FR4978班機飛行路線，顯示該班機原訂由希臘雅典飛往立陶宛首都維爾紐斯，卻在飛越白俄羅斯國境上空時，轉往明斯克。此因白俄羅斯航管人員謊稱機上有炸彈，命飛機在明斯克降落，白俄羅斯當局遂藉此逮捕搭乘該機之異議記者羅曼?普羅塔塞維奇。立陶宛與白俄羅斯之邊界長六百七十九公里，兩國之衝突反應出其背後兩大勢力——歐盟及俄羅斯——之角力。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/07/12/2003760685